Friday, August 12, 2011

New Dungeness Lighthouse

There are few foggy mornings around our place.  With only a short distance from the water of Puget Sound (maybe a quarter of a mile), we get a soft blanket of ocean fog.  With it you can hear the low sad bass of the fog horn coming from the nearby Dungeness lighthouse.  (Usually the low misty clouds burn off and we are back in the sun before mid-morning.) 

lighthouse-sequim-dungeness-spitThe New Dungeness Lighthouse was the first lighthouse completed in Washington Territory. Originally, there were two full-time Keepers who lived in the Lighthouse.  In 1976, the light and fog signal were automated and the Station was manned by a single Keeper. Due to budget cuts, in 1994 the U.S. Coast Guard withdrew its last Keeper. Plans were made to board up the building.  However, the New Dungeness Light Station Association was organized in 1994 with the mission of protecting and preserving the Station with volunteers.

You can become a member/volunteer and have the unique opportunity to become Keeper and live the life of a Keeper for a week, being responsible for the operation of the Lighthouse in the same isolation as Keepers of the Nineteenth Century. Each week, up to six volunteer Keepers who have paid a weekly fee are transported to the Station. During the week, you perform minor maintenance and repairs to the buildings and mow, trim and water the lawn. You serve as tour guides providing historical information to visitors who have hiked the 5 miles at low tide or arrived in kayaks.

Not sure if this is our cup of tea, but it could be an interesting week in a historical setting and certainly with some of the best scenery of Puget Sound.  When we start our kayaking trips next summer, this will definitely be a destination.

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